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SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLAUCLA chancellor appointment

This Week: June 7

Photo credit: Helen Quach

By Jack Garland, Sharla Steinman, Tilly Jones, and Matthew Royer

June 8, 2024 1:11 p.m.

Updates from elections in Mexico, India and South Africa. President Biden signs in executive action regarding asylum. Podcasts contributors Tilly Jones and Hela Khalil discuss these stories and more with Podcasts editor Jack Garland. Assistant News editors Sharla Steinman and Matthew Royer join the show to discuss a pro-Palestine protest on campus.

Jack Garland: Today is Friday, June 7, and you are listening to This Week by Daily Bruin Podcasts. Happy week 10, everyone. This is our last episode of This Week for the school year, and this will be my last episode hosting because I graduate next Friday. So today, on the international side, we’re discussing the elections in Mexico, India and South Africa, and the 80th anniversary of D-Day. And then on the national side, we’re discussing President Biden’s Executive Order regarding asylum seekers, an update from former President Trump’s Georgia election interference case and an update from Hunter Biden’s federal gun charge trial. I’m Jack Garland. I’m the Podcasts editor.

Tilly Jones: My name is Tilly Jones. I’m a podcast contributor and the international correspondent for today.

Hela Khalil: I’m Hela Khalil, a podcast contributor and today’s national correspondent.

JG: And later on in the show, we’ll be joined by Daily Bruin Assistant News editors Sharla Steinman and Matthew Royer. Tilly and Hela, It’s great to have you guys back on the show. So before we get into the news, let’s talk a little bit about our summer plans. So Tilly, any plans this summer?

TJ: Yeah, so I’m going home to Boston. Gonna spend the summer there with some family, and I’m getting ready to spend the next year abroad in London.

HK: Yeah, this summer, I’m going to be moving to Washington, D.C. for a congressional internship. So I’m super excited because I’ve never even been to D.C.

JG: Nice. Well, I spent a summer in London, and I’m from the D.C. area, so I think I have some recs for both you guys. All right, now let’s get into the news, starting with the international news from this week. Tilly, can you tell us about the top story?

TJ: Yeah, so Claudia Sheinbaum was elected the first female and first Jewish President of Mexico this past Monday, winning 59% of the national vote. It was a decisive victory for Sheinbaum, whose main rival Xóchitl Gálvez received only 27% of the vote. The election was historic for Mexico, with the main two candidates being women and a large number of seats up for grabs in Congress. Sheinbaum’s party, the Morena party, also retained its majority in both chambers of congress. In addition to being the former mayor of Mexico City, Sheinbaum is also a climate scientist and ran on a leftist platform promising continuity and praising her predecessor, whose support and popularity propelled her to victory. There are two other elections we’re covering today, and the other one is from India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured a third term in India’s general election this past Tuesday, making him the second leader in India’s history to gain a third term in power. Despite his success, this election represented a setback for Modi, as his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP, was unable to secure a majority on its own. However, the National Democratic Alliance, which is the BJP-led coalition, was able to secure a slim majority in Parliament, granting Modi his third term. On its own, BJP won only 240 seats, just short of the 272 seats needed to secure a majority, losing the parliamentary majority they have held since 2014. Going into the election, Modi and his allies were promising a landslide victory and decisive majority. Despite gaining another term, these results did represent a victory for his opposition. With this coalition, Modi will be forced to work with parties that don’t share his Hindu-nationalist ideology. The African National Congress lost its majority in the South African Congress for the first time since the end of Apartheid in 1994. The African National Congress, led by president Cyril Ramaphosa, received only about 40% of the national vote, a huge drop from their 58% in the last national election in 2019. The party now has only two weeks to form a government, forced to partner with rival parties that have previously described the ANC as corrupt and promised to never form an alliance with them. Many voters in South Africa have become disenchanted with the ANC due to huge unemployment and crime rates, as well as water and electricity shortages. Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, launched a new party in the lead up to the election and was a strong opponent. His new party won about 15% of the vote, taking key voters away from the ANC.

JG: It’s definitely a big year for elections around the world. So thanks for those updates, Tilly. What other story are we following this week?

TJ: World War Two veterans from the U.S., Britain and Canada joined 25 world leaders in France Thursday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. The unprecedented D-Day Operation, also known as the Invasion of Normandy, marked a turning point that led to the Allied Powers defeating Nazi Germany and ending WWII. Leaders, like U.S. President Biden, used the event on Thursday to underscore the importance of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and its implications for democracy in Europe.

JG: Thanks, Tilly. Now, switching over to the national news. Hela, what is the top story this week?

HK: Yeah, so on Tuesday, President Biden announced new executive actions that will effectively halt asylum processing at the US Mexico border. The executive order is expected to take effect immediately and will order a halt to asylum processing at the border when the number of illegal entries is deemed excessive. This threshold triggers a halt on asylum until the average daily arrests for illegal entries fall below 1,500 for one week consecutively. Also under this policy, migrants will be issued deportation orders instead of simply being denied asylum. As a part of the measure, Mexico has agreed to take back up to 30,000 migrants per month from Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. This agreement does not include individuals of other nationalities, however.

JG: This policy seems to be a departure from the policies we expect from Democrats. Can you explain why President Biden is issuing this order now?

HK: Yeah, this is essentially the latest of the Biden administration’s recent measures to restrict immigration at the U.S. Mexico border. Immigration continues to be a pressing issue in the presidential campaign, and the Biden administration is seeking to address it.

JG: And what else is going on across the country?

HK: Last week, we discussed former President Donald Trump’s verdict of guilty on all 34 counts of the Manhattan hush-money case. This week, we look at updates on the former president’s case in Georgia. In the state of Georgia, Donald Trump and 18 of his associates have been charged with attempting to overturn the state’s results in the 2020 presidential election. As of this past Wednesday, the Georgia Court of Appeals has effectively frozen the case against Donald Trump to investigate claims that the prosecuting district attorney of Fulton County was involved in a conflict of interest. The case is expected to stay frozen at least through the presidential election this November. In other legal related news, this week, the federal trial involving President Biden’s son Hunter Biden has begun. Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies involving his purchasing of a gun while addicted to crack cocaine. The charges include lying to a federally licensed gun seller, falsely claiming he was not a drug user on the gun-purchasing application and illegally possessing the gun for 11 days. The President has notably been protective and defensive regarding criticism of his son, and as the presidential election nears, allies of President Biden are concerned that Hunter Biden’s case could harm the President’s campaign for re-election.

JG: Thank you for those updates, Hela. And now we’re turning to Sharla Steinman and Matthew Royer for the Daily Bruin news updates of the week. Sharla and Matthew, it’s great to have you all back on the show.

Sharla Steinman: Thanks for having us, Jack.

Matthew Royer: Excited to be here for one last time.

JG: So what story will you be talking about today?

SS: Over 300 pro Palestine protesters marched through campus and blocked traffic in Westwood Monday to oppose the Israeli military’s invasion of Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip, and to demand UC divestment from Israel. The walkout was planned by six organizations, including Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA and rank and file caucus members of United Auto Workers Local 4811. It started in Dixon Plaza at noon, and protesters then walked to the Court of Sciences and then to the intersection of Westwood Plaza and Le Conte Avenue. Protesters set up tents and a line of caution tape to block cars in both directions on Westwood Plaza. They hosted a teach in about union organizing and the war in Gaza. A member of SJP said in a speech that pro-Palestine protesters will continue to disrupt campus activities until the university meets its demands and divest from Israel. They said, “We have the responsibility to be unwavering in our solidarity and resistance. We must answer the goals of the Palestinian resistance on the ground.”

JG: And how has the university responded?

MR: Great question, Jack. Mary Osako, the vice chancellor for strategic communications at UCLA, said in a written statement Monday that members of UAW Local 4811 blocked patients from accessing critical care in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and prevented students from accessing campus. She said in a statement Monday, quote, “Why is the union punishing students who are just trying to learn and have paid tuition fees to do so, and right before finals, when stress levels are at an all time high. These are real lives and real students, not targets in a union playbook.” The UCLA Faculty Association filed its own unfair labor practice charge against the UC Monday for its treatment of faculty in the encampment. The UC has repeatedly claimed the strike is illegal because it violates a no-strike clause in a 2022 collective bargaining agreement. It attempted to stop the strike by filing two requests for injunctive relief to the California Public Employment Relations Board, both of which were denied. On Monday afternoon, the UC announced it would file a breach of contract action lawsuit in state court against UAW Local 4811.

SS: Graham Blair, a member of Faculty for Justice in Palestine at UCLA and the UCLA Faculty Association said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt invited him and 10 other faculty members to discuss events on campus. The faculty members rejected his invitation in a Daily Bruin op-ed, citing the UCLA administration’s decision to not negotiate with encampment leaders. Following conversations with UCPD, protesters left the road and traffic reopened on Westwood plaza at 3 p.m.

JG: Thank you Sharla, and thank you Matthew, for coming on for one last pod.

SS: Thanks, Jack. It’s been a pleasure being on the show this year.

MR: Thanks, Jack.

JG: Thanks for joining us today, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed This Week. The goal of the show was to provide college students with a quick and easy-to-understand recap of the news from around the world, across the country and on campus. Next week, we’ll be releasing a special episode of This Week called This Year, and then we’ll come back in the fall to resume the show, but we’ll be doing it in the fall with a slightly different format. So we hope to see you next week for This Year, and please tune back in in the fall to hear more of This Week. I’m Jack Garland, and thank you for listening.

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Jack Garland
Sharla Steinman | City and Crime Editor
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
Matthew Royer | National news and higher education editor
Royer is the 2023-2024 national news and higher education editor. He is also a Sports staff writer on the men’s soccer and softball beats and is Copy staff. He was previously the 2022-2023 city and crime editor and a contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a fourth-year political science student minoring in labor studies from West Hills, California.
Royer is the 2023-2024 national news and higher education editor. He is also a Sports staff writer on the men’s soccer and softball beats and is Copy staff. He was previously the 2022-2023 city and crime editor and a contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a fourth-year political science student minoring in labor studies from West Hills, California.
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